A piece of industrial land in Golspie which was put up for auction with a guide price of just £1 eventually sold for £9,500.
The auction, run by Online Property Auctions Scotland (OPAS), included five other lots.
Although they attracted multiple bids, these were not high enough to meet the sellers’ valuations.
OPAS said the plot of vacant land with the £1 price tag and potential annual rental income of £800 attracted “huge interest”.
Winning bidder opened with £3,000 offer
The identity of the buyer was undisclosed but OPAS said they entered the auction yesterday (June 23) with a bid of £3,000 and were forced up by competitors throughout the afternoon.
A total of seven bidders made had made 35 bids in all by the time the auction came to an end.
The five other units to come under the hammer attracted final bids ranging from £19,000 to £59,000 but none of them matched their guide prices, ranging from £11,000 to £64,000.
Covid-19 has led to a marked decline in traditional property viewings due to social distancing rules.
But these same conditions have allowed OPAS and other businesses with the same operating model to thrive.
Yesterday’s “special” auction of industrial property and land in Golspie’s town centre industrial estate was described by the auctioneers as “a once in a generation event”.
It is the first time the auctioneer has focused on just one industrial estate.
Site-focused event may be replicated
George Douglas, the Glasgow-based company’s managing director, had previously indicated a successful event could be the forerunner for more like it.
OPAS specialises in the sale of high-yielding commercial and residential lots, including land.
Its online auctions are held, on average, every two weeks, with dozens of properties available – both commercial and residential – from across the country. Bidding can be done via desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Industrial market slump
Just over £30m was invested in Scotland’s industrial property market amid lockdown during the first three months of 2021, half the five-year quarterly average of £61m, according to property giant Colliers.
In a blog late last year, Mr Douglas said: “Obviously it’s not been possible to attend live auctions during the pandemic.
“But we’ve found a very healthy number of regular ballroom auction patrons migrating to our online auctions during the lockdown.”